There was no eye contact; in fact I could hardly see his eyes under the hoodie he was wearing. "My life doesn't count for much." He looked despondently at the Christmas gift that I had secured for my wife. I interviewed him for another 15 minutes. Do you have family, where do you live, where have you worked? Every answer had a short dead end. At the end of 35 minutes he said, "I got to go." I gave him some benevolence cash and he said thanks without a smile.
It has been almost 20 years since that man walked out of my office the week before Christmas but I have not forgotten his words, "My life doesn't count for much."
On the eve of Christmas, I would like to refute those words if for no other reason than to say to that man (if he is still out there) "Your life does count!" The word "count" is usually used in the mathematical arena but can be transposed into the human value arena. We may feel like we don't count because we can't contribute or we have no redeeming value to contribute to our culture. What we really need to do is make sure we are being valued by the right entity. God places the highest value on each and everyone. Consider the value He placed on each of us to move on men of old to write of a coming Messiah. He spoke to a man called Micah to write of the Messiah coming to a little bedlam community called Bethlehem (Micah 5:2) 700 years before the birth. Stay with me on this it is very important to you and the people you love. So many people feel insignificant, like they come from a little insignificant town (pick one nearby) from an insignificant family with an insignificant purpose for being.
This is a good time to arrest the insignificance. You count to God. Consider that he designed a plan to give you significance and to assure you that you count. He proclaimed that you would count to Him and that you would have peace (Micah 5:5, Luke 1:79). You count so much to God that he began a plan from the garden exodus to bring significance into your life.
Consider this, after all the prophecies of writers like Isaiah, God says it is time. He puts it in the heart of Caesar Augustus, who is 1500 miles from Jerusalem, to take a census or a head count. Someone added a divine caveat, "We should have each person go to their place of origin. "The count puts a man in Nazareth in a conundrum. His wife is pregnant and her time of labor has nearly come (Micah 5:3). Because he is from the line of David and a member of the small insignificant tribe of Judah he must go to "oh little town of Bethlehem. "Some scholars say that she didn't have to travel with Joseph. I don't know if that is true but we do know that Micah says Bethlehem counts as the birthplace so Joseph takes her on his donkey. Not the most significant mode of transporting a pregnant woman to a maternity ward.
Upon arrival they had no reservations and don't seem to merit a search for any accommodations. Seems the only place for people who don't count for much is a stable in a cave. You know the rest of the story.
Here is your take home today. Maybe God sent Jesus into our world via humble insignificant surroundings in order that no matter who you are or where you come from, the clear message would be, "you count to God!" Space will not allow me to expound on all the ways in which we count to God but let me purpose that you count because; His love for you is eternal, He spoke you into existence, He sent His best, Jesus Christ to lay down his life for you. You count because you are made in His image, because He delights in you and wants to fulfill the desires you have in your DNA. He has a vested interest in your journey.
If you're that man that sat in my office some 20 years ago, I'm still mindful of our conversation. My message to you and others would be the same except that I might use different verbiage. The message is "You still count to God!" Find someone who knows this incredible truth and start hearing the truth. Your life counts to God!
JD Duncan is a pastor at Peninsula Christian Center in Soldotna.